Marolo Grappa: The Spirit of Pommace, with Lorenzo Marolo

We had the pleasure of Lorenzo Marolo, visit us from Alba, Piedmont, Italy and we wouldn’t have missed the opportunity for him to host a master class and talk about his father’s products. Lorenzo talked about the producers who supply them with the pommace (skin and seeds of grapes) and the distinctive single distillation production method they use in their pot stills. They also distil at a lower temperature to achieve the characteristics and flavours they want.

The first grappa we tried was the Brunello made from Sangiovese with almond and cherry like aromas and a gentle spice finish. We then tried the lightly aged Monriondo made from Barbera which had notes of sherry, honey and light nuttiness.

We then tried the two aged grappas of the Barolo 12year, and then the Barolo 1983. The 12 year made from Nebbiolo had vanilla notes, cacao, honey and spices, whilst the 1983 had been finished in a variety of Armagnac, Sherry and Oak casks that gave a stewed fruit and vanilla aromas and tasted of rich plum, chocolate and spice.

The next couple to sample were the Moscato, and the Moscato Apres. The unaged Moscato was very aromatic with a floral nose and quite herbaceous with hints of sweetness and spice on the palate. The Moscato Apres had aromas of candied fruits, raisins and a touch of caramel on the palate, gentle spices and some citrus fruits.

We lastly tried the Milla, a Camomile liqueur, and the Chinato. The Milla had lovely fresh Camomile aromas with notes of honey and naturally herbaceous. The Chinato, aged in Barrique Barrels, used Barolo wine to give the cherry, plummy and fruitful flavours with hints of fig and tobacco. We had the pleasure of a Manhatten using the Chinato and a Rosemary Sour using the Moscato, both which were excellent and showed that grappa can be used in Cocktails more often.

To purchase this range of grappa please visit us in store or online www.amathusdrinks.com

Martin So
Amathus Soho

Presenting Rhum Agricole with Sugar Cane Kings; Clement & Rhum JM – by Nick Bell

We were delighted this week to be joined by Audrey Bruisson from Rhum Clement and Rhum J.M. to talk to us about this

Rhum JM and Clement Bottles
Rhum JM and Clement Bottles

fantastic Agricole Rhum from Martinique. Though Agricole is only around 2% of all Rhum consumed, Clement is now present in 60 countries across the world and is a world leader in production.

Clement has been producing Rhum for 125 years now, and as such they have mastered the techniques of production. This includes having their own estate grown sugar cane so they can maintain high standards from field to bottle.
In order to maintain the Rhum Agricole AOC there are specific rules to make sure that the Rhum is of sufficient quality. This includes only allowing 24 hours to pass between harvesting and beginning fermentation; and having to spend the first year of production in barrels from Limousine before transferring to Bourbon barrels. Due to the climate of Martinique there will be losses of 8-12% from each barrel every year. This in turn makes aged Rhum Agricole a very precious liquid – which the tasting definitely proved.

Clement and Rhum JM tasting samples
Clement and Rhum JM tasting samples

We were given the chance to try 7 different Rhums from their range, starting with the incredibly smooth and delicious Clement Premier Canne. After this we were lucky enough to be able to taste the first bottle of Select Barrel in the UK. This was followed by the VSOP, which had a smooth and mellow taste with a delicate roasted cocoa aroma. We moved on to the J.M. after these, and the difference was apparent immediately. The JM Rhums had a more powerful aroma and were rich with spicy, vegetal notes. We progressed from the White, to the Gold and finished with the VSOP, which was a truly intense Rhum.

We were treated after the Rhums to some incredible Ti Punch Sorbet made by Marc Woods from Rumbling, followed by a Ti Punch – a great way to spend a Wednesday evening!

By Nick Bell
Amathus Soho
Wardour Street, London, W1F 0UN